BEI Weekly Update
Nov 10, 2023

BEI Weekly Update - 10th November 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

Once again this week, we have moved around the world - from Azerbaijan to Rwanda - through to one of the most pressing challenges of our times - Climate Finance - while also taking in an opportunity to engage with the World Bank. I hope that we are close to having something for everyone!

We were grateful to Edward Evans, Chargé d'affaires at the British Embassy in Azerbaijan, his DBT colleagues Joel Derbyshire, Rena Zeynalova, Elvin Raziyev and Rovshan Naziri, as well as the Chair of British Business Group Azerbaijan, John Patterson, for providing a deep dive on the broad range of commercial opportunities in this market, continuing our regular series of events on the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Our session on Rwanda was another in our “Meet the FCDO Development Director '' series and we were glad to be joined by Anna Wilson who set out the FCDO’s objectives and programme plans for the country. Anna led a comprehensive discussion on one of FCDO's top priority countries, with a specific focus on human development and covering particularly education, climate resilience and climate finance, good governance and economic development.

Another week, another report launch. This one, on Climate Finance, was really special. If you haven’t seen it yet, please look at the report HERE. We thank the report’s lead author, Virginie Fayolle at Mott MacDonald, and all other Climate Finance working group members who collaborated on the report: Adam Smith International, Arup, AtkinsRéalis, Chemonics, DAI Global, Deloitte, DT Global, Kuungana Advisory, MannionDaniels, Nathan (a Cadmus company), Oxford Policy Management, Palladium, Ricardo, Social Development Direct and Tetra Tech. With a strong strategic overview and detailed practical examples, this report highlights the challenges, the innovative solutions being developed and the multiple opportunities we need to take if the climate finance gap is to be filled. At BEI, we are extremely fortunate to have members who can tell such a persuasive story of their contribution on this vital issue. We are determined to ensure that the report receives as wide a circulation as possible both in the UK and around the world.

On Thursday, we were grateful to Bob Saum, the Chief Financial Management Officer and Director for Standards, Procurement and Financial Management of the World Bank. The World Bank has recently made some important modifications to its procurement policy, notably incorporating mandatory qualitative criteria into the evaluation process for significant procurements and introducing improvements on sustainability. This initiative, known as the Environmental and Social Framework, was implemented in 2018. Bob provided our members with updates on how these changes are integrated into procurement decisions, which will be highly beneficial for those considering bids for future procurement opportunities.

Next week, we have another full programme. On Tuesday, we will start the day with another event in our 'Meet the FCDO Development Director' series, welcoming Matt Cannell, who is based in Bangladesh. Please find details on how to register here. Following that, in the afternoon, we will host a round-table discussion with Melinda Bohannon, the Director General of Humanitarian and Development at FCDO. During this session, she will provide us with an update on the department's humanitarian strategy and updates on priorities. On Thursday, we are hosting BEI members, British International Investment (BII), who will review their Climate Change Strategy and explore the implications and opportunities this holds for UK organisations.

As we approach the end of the year, we all turn our attention to planning for the year to come. We are working up our programme for the first part of 2024, both for our events and the working groups, aiming to cover fully our priory countries and the big strategic issues in each sector while remaining flexible to address emerging trends and also to take advantage of the availability of the top-level speakers I’m delighted that we can secure. I’m grateful for the thoughts you’ve been sharing on what you would find most useful in our programme: please keep them coming.

With best wishes for the weekend,

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 14th November 09:00-10:00 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Bangladesh (new date) - Join us as we host Matt Cannell, the Development Director in Bangladesh for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Bangladesh (if you were registered to attend on the original date, your registration is transferred and you will be sent the new joining link).
  • 14th November 2023 16:00-17:30 GMT: UK International Development Strategy Round Table with Melinda Bohannon - Join us for an in-person round table on the UK’s International Development Strategy, with an address from Guest of Honour, Melinda Bohannon, interim Director General, Humanitarian and Development at the FCDO. Melinda will speak on the UK’s International Development Strategy and address key priorities for the UK in delivering Humanitarian Aid in the context of the broader humanitarian agenda for the FCDO. (Full Capacity)
  • 16th November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: British International Investment - Climate Change Strategy Review - British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, will showcase their Climate Change Strategy. Attendees will learn how BII’s current and future activities and portfolios are aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement, based on the building blocks of Net Zero, Just Transition and climate adaptation and resilience
  • 22nd November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Challenges and Solutions for Profit Repatriation in African Markets - For multinational organisations operating in Africa, the repatriation of profits can be a challenge in some markets due to currency volatility, foreign exchange controls, economic instability, and regulatory restrictions. Join us as our panel explores some of these complex challenges, and hear from some of the organisations who can help companies navigate them.
  • 23rd November 9.00 - 10.00 GMT: ASEAN-UK Supporting the Advancement of Girls’ Education Programme, run by British Council - Following the successful launch event of the ASEAN-UK Supporting the Advancement of Girls’ Education programme, which took place in May at our offices led by the FCDO Mission to the ASEAN. We are delighted to be joined by colleagues from the British Council who will provide further information on the 5 year programme and upcoming phases open for procurement.
  • 29th November 9.00 - 12.00 GMT: UN Roadshow, led by the Department for Business and Trade - We are delighted to host the UN Procurement Roadshow with Department for Business & Trade (DBT) on 29th November 2023 from 9.00 – 12.00 GMT. Colleagues from DBT will present on the topic of ‘How To Do Business with the UN’, providing an introduction to UN Procurement and the opportunities available for UK companies. There will also be the opportunity to book 1-2-1 meetings with the DBT UN experts based in Copenhagen, Geneva and New York.
  • 12th December 2023 09:00-10:00 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Syria - Join us as we host Peter McDermot, the Development Director in Syria for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Syria.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 15th November 2023: FCDO Common Approach on PSEAH - Please join us for a presentation on 15th November, 10:00-11:00 from FCDO Safeguarding Unit on the Common Approach on Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Abuse & Harassment (PSEAH). Guest speakers: Karen Williams, FCDO Engagement Lead and Jennifer Smith, FCDO Multilateral and Strategy Lead. For details contact: 
  • 18th-19th November 2023: Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference, London - Network with a group of seasoned international executives, businesspeople, academia and government officials from Guyana and learn about business opportunities in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in sectors such as energy, technology, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.
  • 21st November 2023 - The Caspian Policy Centre is hosting an Energy Security Conference 9:30-12:30 at Arundel House, Arundel Street, London WC2R3DX. Regional Ambassadors will provide overviews. Business representatives, energy experts and international organisations will discuss energy security, Middle Corridor infrastructure investment, renewables and sustainable transitions. For details contact: 

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